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Color space question...

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Medic1210, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. I'm a total novice when it comes to color management and color space. While editing my last wedding photos, I noticed that my ACR is set to output my NEF files to CS3 in Adobe RGB color space. Well I didn't realize this until just now as I began to upload some of them to the web. Of course, when they save in RGB, they look flat on the web since they're not in SRGB. My question is, should I continue to output and edit them in RGB and save in RGB before sending to the print lab, and then convert the smaller version to SRGB for web viewing, or should I just output the NEF file to CS3 in SRGB to begin with, to send to the lab and to upload? I hope my question is clear. As it is, I've edited a lot of photos in RGB, and saved the smaller versions in RGB as well, so needless to say, they look flat on my webpage. I want them to look good on the web as well as in print. I don't print myself, so what should I do? Should I send the lab files edited and saved as RGB, or can I edit them as SRGB and be done with it? Thanks in advance.
  2. My understanding is that aRGB has more colors available than sRGB. If your lab can handle aRGB (and the better ones can), then that's where I'd leave my photos for printing. sRGB for web, definitely, and aRGB for print, if possible. :smile: I work in aRGB (no matter the final output) and then convert to sRGB for the web.
  3. Your post is kinda confusing. You keep saying "RGB" Which one? AdobeRGB Or sRGB?

    Send your lab whatever color space they ask for in their FAQ or info page. I have encountered one lab that wanted Adobe RGB, all the others want sRGB.
  4. Thanks guys/gals. After posting this, I did a quick google search, and found pretty much the same info. Good to know that all I have to do is convert my aRGB files to sRGB and resave them to upload to the web. I'll check with the lab I want to use to find out which color space they prefer.

    Rodney, when I said just RGB, I was referring to Adobe RGB. I guess I should have worded it to aRGB instead. What I'm not sure of is whether or not I'm going to continue to work in and save the large files in aRGB and just convert the small files to upload to the web in sRGB, or if I want to just work in sRGB all together since I don't know which lab I'm going to go with just yet. Don't feel like having to convert 500 large files to sRGB because the lab prints aRGB files flat looking. Suggestions?
  5. My entire workflow is sRGB. Shooting, editing, printing.
  6. Rod, it's great to see somebody taking a common sense approach to their workflow. So often I see people insisting on working in Adobe RGB (or bigger), even though none of their images are ever destined for anything bigger than sRGB output.

    It's like my mate who just HAS to have the biggest iPod available, even though he only listens to the same 1GB of songs all the time.
  7. Jez


    Jun 22, 2005
    Kind of the same here - although as I shoot RAW and process in Aperture I only need to make a decision when I actually output a file. And that would be sRGB for my lab and for web galleries.

    aRGB certainly has a larger colour gamut than sRGB, but you can still only choose a finite number of colours within it based on the bit-depth of your final file - you don't actually end up with more colours in your final file, just different ones if you need them.
  8. Thanks Damien.

    And Jez makes a good point. I shoot in RAW, so really there is no color space assigned until I convert to JPEG. If someday in the future, we figure out a way to really take full advantage of the larger gamut that Adobe or ProPhoto offers, I can always convert my RAW files again.
  9. The biggest difference I find with aRGB compared to sRGB is the wider gamut in the Reds.

    If there's strong reds in the scene, I find aRGB can be very useful.
  10. Muonic


    Jun 14, 2006
    I don't mean to get too picky, but this is not technically correct. Color space does not have anything to do with the number of colors available. That is determined by bit depth.

    This is also my basic workflow, and it seems to work well for me.:smile:
  11. Jez


    Jun 22, 2005

    Hmmm...I'm going to have to get picky here.... :wink:

    Bit depth determines the number of colours you can choose, but the colour space determines the colours available.
  12. I don't like to use the save for web feature, because it strips the EXIF data. I like having that data present in all the pics I post to the web. Thanks anyway.
  13. It's only useful if you can actually print those reds. Otherwise it's just a recipe for disappointment. My lab prints pretty close to sRGB, and I don't have access to a wide-gamut printer, so there's no point to working in anything other than sRGB from the start.

    And let's face it, my monitor doesn't show much more than sRGB (even though it's an Eizo), so I mightn't be able to accurately edit those extreme colours anyway.
  14. GKR1


    Apr 19, 2007
    San Diego
    What about histogram chimping, I thought it was better to use aRGB to get a better representation as to what the sensor is recording.

    Is this a true assumption?
  15. I believe it's true that the camera histogram isn't entirely accurate (not for Raws, in any case), but I've never heard that using Adobe RGB will do it better - that seems unlikely to me. I'm certainly keen to hear from others about this.
  16. if you're histogram chimping then you're best using uniWB to stop any in-accurate histogram displays due to colour coefficients
  17. GKR1


    Apr 19, 2007
    San Diego
    I do use uniwb sometimes, however, it still clips reds and I can not get over the green cast. :) .

    I can clearly see delta between aRGB and sRGB when it come to histogram, however, I'm not 100% sure that one is better then the other. I also see differences with different WB settings.

    I'm assuming that aRGB has more headroom, so one would think that it is better for histogram chimping. Hopefully, one the fogs would clear this up for us.
  18. my lab will print aRGB so I'm ok, if my local lab would only print sRGB, I may be tempted to covert to sRGB instead of aRGB
  19. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    So is mine.
  20. Here's a visual to help illustrate the relationship between color space and as an added bonus print profiles.


    Here you can see that Adobe RGB has a substantially larger gamut than sRGB in the area of blues and greens particularly. This is important because the Canon 6600 is very capable of producing accurate color in that range.

    So it makes perfect sense to use Adobe RGB for this printer since it will allow greater gamut in the blue green areas. This also illustrates a classic problem with inkjet printers - very poor gamut in purple (lower right quadrant shows the printer cuts off significantly before the either sRGB or Adobe RGB runs out of range.

    Keep in mind this is a consumer printer, my Epson 4800 is even stronger in reproducing colors from Adobe RGB. So when printing on a high quality inkjet, Adobe RGB is a better choice than sRGB.
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